Summary: #8 in a series focused on the foundational biblical truths found in The Peace Prayer of St. Francis: Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
This week, we are going to look at: Where There Is Sadness…Joy
Sadness. We’ve all experienced it in our lives. We are all virtually guaranteed that we will experience it again. It is something that we all share in common. Some are afflicted by it more than others. Most of the time, this all seems so random and most of the time it neither seems fair, nor does it make sense that sadness should strike some so hard, but it is a fact of life.
Proverbs 15:13 says, …”A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” Imagine that ….the spirit is broken. The power of sadness cannot be underestimated.
Sadness comes in many different sizes and shapes. There is the smaller degree of sadness like when I lost my favorite flying rebel silver-tip minnow fishing lure. I admit that at the time that felt like a major degree of sadness to me, but in reality, that was small. This can escalate from something like that, to the heart-wrenching hurt of lost jobs, broken families, or lost dreams. Our Mexico Team saw first-hand the sadness that comes from total poverty, human tragedy, and complete loss of hope. So how should we respond as Believers when we see this all around us?
We are told in Romans 12:15…”Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
This is the ministry of Christ. This ministry has been transferred from Him to the Disciples and to the Church. Who is the Church? It’s US! This is how we can shine the light of Jesus’ love on others. We are to share their happiness and their grief.
Now, you may think “that’s easier said than done. How can we share joy with others when we are hurting ourselves?” I mean really…..how do we find the “joy of the Lord” when we are standing knee-deep in……stuff? Where do we, as Believers, find this joy? After all, we are only human.
Psalm 35.9 says, “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation.” So you see this? Here’s one answer to our question. Our future is secure as followers of Jesus Christ. The uncertainty of what the future holds, which those who do not know Christ feel, cannot touch us.
In Isaiah 61:10 we are told, “I will rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me in the garments of salvation….” Again we are told that our joy comes from knowing who we will be spending eternity with.
I’ve been asked does this mean that everything connected with our joy in the Lord is all future stuff? Are we going to have to wait until we get to Heaven before we can really know this joy? To this I can answer most assuredly…..yes….and …no. Kinda sound like a politician don’t I?
This goes directly to what has been preached from Vineyard pulpits for the last 30 years. The Kingdom broke in 2000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem. The war was fought and won on a cross on Calvary. The price was paid in full for our sins and our futures as believers were secured. The Kingdom is here…….but not completely. For now, we are blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. We are told in John 3:8 that “the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” During this time, the Kingdom breaks in through the works of the Holy Spirit. Our joy will be complete though, when our Lord Jesus returns…….and return He will!!
The Bible says in Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The fullness of our joy will come when we all stand in the presence of the Lord.
You see…we live in the Church age. The Kingdom continues to break in on nations, at events, and on people all over the world. In fact, if you read the verifiable reports, Kingdom activity is greatly increasing every year.